Majority of Americans Believe Trump Not Exonerated by Mueller Investigation

Another demonstration that evidence doesn't much matter in modern American politics.


CNN (“CNN Poll: Majority says Trump not exonerated of collusion after Barr’s summary“):

Though President Donald Trump has claimed “complete and total exoneration” based on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, the American public disagrees, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.

A majority (56%) says the President and his campaign have not been exonerated of collusion, but that what they’ve heard or read about the report shows collusion could not be proven. Fewer, 43%, say Trump and his team have been exonerated of collusion.

Although Mueller could not establish Trump or his campaign “conspired or coordinated with” the Russian government, according to Barr’s letter, the poll finds the American people continue to view the issue through partisan lenses.

Republicans and Democrats are on opposite sides of this question: 77% of Republicans say the President has been exonerated, 80% of Democrats say he has not. Independents break against exoneration — 58% say the President and his campaign were not exonerated.
Those who say they have heard or read “a great deal” about the report (about 23% of the public), however, are more apt to say the President has been cleared: 56% in that group say Trump and his campaign have been exonerated of any collusion, while 44% say it wasn’t exoneration but that collusion could not be proven.

The 43% overall in the new poll saying the President has been exonerated is about the same as the 42% who said in a CNN poll earlier this year that Trump’s campaign did not collude with the Russian government to help get Trump elected. That suggests the summary letter released Sunday did little to move public opinion on this matter.

And most feel the investigation ought not to end with that letter.

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans want to see Congress continue to pursue hearings into the findings of Mueller’s report. Just 43% feel Congress ought to end the investigation completely following the release of Barr’s summary of Mueller’s findings.

Here too, partisan divides are deep. Nearly 9 in 10 Democrats (88%) say Congress ought to hold hearings, while just 17% of Republicans agree.

CBS (“Mueller report: Majorities across party lines want full report released, CBS News poll says“) has similar findings:

More than 3 in 4 Americans, including majorities of both Republicans and Democrats, think the full Mueller report should be released to the public. But the partisan splits that have long marked the investigation remain even after it is done: Republicans say the report has cleared the president. Democrats are unconvinced and want their party in Congress to continue looking into the Russia matter, though most Americans overall feel they should drop it.

More (34 percent) feel the report has cleared the president of any illegal activity than explicitly feel it has not (23 percent) — but 36 percent think it’s still too soon to say whether it has or hasn’t. A large majority of Republicans say the report has cleared the president, yet few Democrats think so. Many feel it is too soon to say. These partisan splits look much like divisions that have existed throughout the investigation.

Quite.

What this demonstrates, yet again, is how fundamentally unpersuadable most Americans are on anything having to do with Donald J. Trump. Essentially, any poll regarding him is a popularity survey. The CNN results on collusion almost precisely mirror Trump’s approval ratings.

Now, as it happens, I agree with the 56 percent who say Trump hasn’t been exonerated. I accept the idea that, despite all that we know about interaction with high-level Trump associates meeting with Russian persons, there’s simply not enough evidence to charge conspiracy. But that conclusion doesn’t change my view of Trump, his campaign, or his presidency one iota.

There is wider consensus on the idea that the full report ought be released. But that’s simply a matter of fairness. I’d bet quite a lot that public perception of Trump’s guilt will be almost precisely the same once the fuller results are public.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Public Opinion Polls, Russia Investigation, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Another demonstration that evidence doesn’t much matter in modern American politics.

    What evidence? Right now most of the evidence we have points to trump and company being desperate to hide something or several somethings. Why else were so many people lying?

    I’d bet quite a lot that public perception of Trump’s guilt will be almost precisely the same once the fuller results are public.

    This may well be true, but we can hardly know until the full 400+ pages are in fact released, to Congress if not the public. If Barr redacts a significant percentage of it people will think he’s hiding something, because he would in fact be hiding something. Whether those redactions were relevant to the case we would have no way of knowing and I wouldn’t trust Barr in the least to make those decisions based on anything other than politics. At this point only a fool would.

    Besides, we paid for the damn thing. It belongs to us.

    23
    1
  2. Bob@Youngstown says:

    The last sentence in the Barr summary (in the Russian Interference section) clearly indicates that Trumps campaign FAILED to self-report that a foreign entity was “selling” stolen (federal crime) documents.

    If that is not tacit approval of Russian’s actions, I can’t imagine what it would be.

    9
    1
  3. drj says:

    Seen on Twitter somewhere:

    Trump asked for Russian assistance.
    Trump received Russian assistance.
    Trump benefited from Russian assistance.
    Trump rewarded Russian assistance.

    All true. So, of course, the four-page Barr memo didn’t convince too many people. Because they actually witnessed something different.

    Which means that

    What this demonstrates, yet again, is how fundamentally unpersuadable most Americans are on anything having to do with Donald J. Trump.

    should probably read

    What this demonstrates, yet again, is how fundamentally unpersuadable most Republicans are on anything having to do with Donald J. Trump.

    Partisanship is not symmetrical here.

    20
    1
  4. Michael Reynolds says:

    THERE IS NO EVIDENCE, James. There’s a 4 page ‘summary’ of 700 pages of documents, a summary written by a GOP hack so lacking in judgment that he has agreed to act as Trump’s employee. We have seen NO evidence thus far.

    The public has it right.

    30
    2
  5. drj says:

    @drj:

    I should add that this doesn’t mean that there was definitely a conspiracy going on between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, but, based on what we all saw, it would take some really, really strong evidence* to the contrary in order to conclude that there was no “collusion.”

    A majority of the public appears smart enough to understand this.

    * which the Barr memo isn’t.

    3
    1
  6. Guarneri says:

    I see the Trump – Russia truthers are out early today.

    4
    22
  7. James Joyner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Michael Reynolds: I think the combination of my title and subhead give the wrong impression of my take. I absolutely agree Trump hasn’t been exonerated and agree that we need the full report. My point is simply that this poll almost precisely mirrors Trump’s approval ratings.

    @drj: Meh. I agree that those who still support Trump are more resistant to evidence than the rest of us. But that’s almost definitionally true. A lot of the Republicans who couldn’t support Trump in 2016 stopped identifying as Republicans. Still, it’s not as if a lot of Democrats are saying “Well, okay, maybe I was wrong.” (And, again, nor am I.) And I can’t imagine what Mueller would say that would possibly convince Democrats (or, again, me) that Trump isn’t dirty.

    2
    2
  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    I’ll ask it again:

    Why does Trump refuse to allow any American in the room when he talks to Putin?

    Simple question, and you no doubt have a simple, plausible answer, right? Not Merkel, not Xi, not Kim, not Macron, not Netanyahu, just Putin.

    25
    2
  9. drj says:

    @James Joyner:

    Still, it’s not as if a lot of Democrats are saying “Well, okay, maybe I was wrong.”

    Speaking for myself, I would need an alternative explanation for Trump’s behavior. It is not inceivable that the Mueller investigation supplies one, for instance that a couple of relatively small lies cascaded completely out of control.

    But that explanation requires more weirdness and coincidences than if the Trump campaign were simply colluding with Russia. Which means that – lacking any solid evidence – the latter explanation is quite a bit more likely to be true.

    And I can’t imagine what Mueller would say that would possibly convince Democrats (or, again, me) that Trump isn’t dirty.

    Neither can I, but as I said before:

    Trump asked for Russian assistance.
    Trump received Russian assistance.
    Trump benefited from Russian assistance.
    Trump rewarded Russian assistance.

    It’s not partisanship to see what is right in front of your nose.

    8
    2
  10. dmichael says:

    @James Joyner: Who writes the titles and subheads of your columns? You now concede that “the combination of my title and subhead give the wrong impression of my take.” What you don’t concede, but should, is that your analysis is simplistic and false. Mueller (according to AG Barr) did NOT decide on whether there was a conspiracy with Russian election interference or obstruction of justice by Trump and his minions. Barr and Rosenstein determined that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. Who are Barr and Rosenstein? Barr is GHWB’s former AG who advised Poppy to pardon all of his criminal associates in Iran-Contra on Poppy’s way out the door. Rosenstein got his Republican bona fides by being a young attorney with the infamous Ken Starr investigation (along with Justice (I like beer) Kavanaugh).

    3
    2
  11. grumpy realist says:

    @Guarneri: for someone who’s supposedly innocent, Trump has certainly acted over the years as if Putin has Trump’s balls in a vice.

    Ockham’s Razor, in other words….

    8
    1
  12. Moosebreath says:

    James,

    I don’t view the Mueller report as exonerating the President, because that’s not even what Barr’s summary says. To the contrary, it says Mueller could not establish Trump or his campaign “conspired or coordinated with” the Russian government (as one of the articles you quoted reads), which is more like there was not enough evidence to bring a claim to court.

    While this is certainly speculation on my part, I think the most likely explanation for the way Barr’s summary of the Mueller report reads is that Mueller believes but cannot prove that there was obstruction of justice on Trump’s behalf, and because of the obstruction of justice, he has insufficient evidence to prove the conspiracy/coordination claim beyond a reasonable doubt. If this is correct, that is a very long way from exoneration.

    5
    1
  13. Moosebreath says:

    @grumpy realist:

    The mental image of using Ockham’s Razor on Trump’s balls (whether or not in a vise) is one I don’t care to see again, thank you.

    3
    1
  14. KM says:

    Of course the public remains unconvinced – we have eyes and brains. We can see and we can think. We watch 2+ years of Trump and Co acting compromised AF and the Mueller investigation nabbing multiple criminals. Trump spends the whole time badmouthing Mueller and everybody he can while frankly acting like a guilty child trying to distract their parents from punishment. A report is finally released but whoops, you don’t get to see it, just a short memo written by a biased-at-best, compromised-at-the-worst individuals that very carefully doesn’t actually say anything value. Trump then runs around screaming Flawless Victory and his toadies joyfully repeat it then start calling it treason an investigation even happened in the first place. Instead of being grateful he got away with whatever he did – and he TOTALLY did something, even if we can’t prove it beyond a doubt in a court of law – he starts doubling down on his rhetoric and pushing the limits of credulity.

    What part of that is supposed to convince the public he’s been “exonerated”? A freaking summary that flat out said this does not exonerate him? It’s right there in the the text! But if you favor Trump, you’re going to take this and blow it out of proportions solely for “I told yo so’s” and bragging rights. This is “own the libs” mentality writ large – literally ignore the actual wording of the memo to gloat the memo don’t literally have the word “guilty” in it (I checked). Cherry picking facts to support their reality is what they do.

    12
    1
  15. dmichael says:

    On a related note: Monica Lewinsky on Wednesday retweeted a post by law professor Orin Kerr, who mused about what might have happened if the infamous Starr Report had been handled the same way special counsel Robert Mueller’s report has been treated by the Trump administration.

    10
  16. Jay L Gischer says:

    One point, which isn’t small. It is likely that Mueller, like most of the DOJ, believes a sitting president cannot be indicted. This position does not regard the amount of evidence, it’s just a consequence of executive powers.

    So, the fact that they did not indict Trump does not imply there wasn’t enough evidence to indict him. Even though that’s how they are trying to spin it. Of course.

    Now, it does mean something with regard to Jared, Ivanka, Don Jr, Eric, and Steve Bannon. I’m a bit surprised by this, particularly with regard to Don Jr, and his “that would be great!” I’d love to know why he isn’t being prosecuted. Is he protected by the same policy as protects the President? I don’t know, and I’d like to.

    4
    1
  17. Michael Reynolds says:

    James:
    What’s happened here is that for once the American people got it exactly right. That’s not partisanship, it’s accuracy, and we should be encouraged.

    5
    5
  18. James Joyner says:

    @dmichael:

    On a related note: Monica Lewinsky on Wednesday retweeted a post by law professor Orin Kerr, who mused about what might have happened if the infamous Starr Report had been handled the same way special counsel Robert Mueller’s report has been treated by the Trump administration.

    It was a cute exchange but two things: 1) We changed the law after the Starr Report precisely because we had bipartisan agreement we didn’t want that kind of fishing expedition in the future and 2) Mueller’s report was filed less than a week ago. There’s every reason to think we’re going to get to see the report. But even Democratic legal experts agree that certain grand jury and foreign counterintelligence information simply has to be redacted. I’d argue that key Congressional leaders (The Speaker/Minority leader in the House, the Majority and Minority leader in the Senate, and the chair and ranking members of the Justice and Intel committees in both House most obviously) should see what’s being redacted for transparency.

    @drj:

    It’s not partisanship to see what is right in front of your nose.

    and @KM:

    Of course the public remains unconvinced – we have eyes and brains.

    Sure. But we evaluate that through partisan (or, at least, Trump-colored) lenses.

    @KM:

    What part of that is supposed to convince the public he’s been “exonerated”? A freaking summary that flat out said this does not exonerate him?

    Correct. But that’s my point: that even a report prepared by Trump’s AG saying Trump wasn’t exonerated by the report changed precisely zero minds.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    What’s happened here is that for once the American people got it exactly right. That’s not partisanship, it’s accuracy, and we should be encouraged.

    Well, 56 percent got it exactly right. But those 56 percent believed Trump was engaged in fishy, legally dubious activities before Barr’s summary was released.

  19. Jay L Gischer says:

    By the way, to James’ primary point. I recall reading a piece by the reporter who ultimately brought down Rob Ford. The parallels with Trump are pretty clear. She said you will need to have video of wrongdoing to make a dent. Also, you need to tell your own story in media, though it helps to remain factual.

    There is no video of Trump. There might be audio, because of Cohen. There might be comms intercept audio, as well, but that’s never going to show up in court or the media, I might venture. Remember, this was a team that was dumb enough to get caught talking to Kislyak on ordinary comms. The fact that Flynn never seemed to consider that is disqualifying (as NSA) in itself.

    2
    1
  20. James Joyner says:

    @dmichael:

    Who writes the titles and subheads of your columns? You now concede that “the combination of my title and subhead give the wrong impression of my take.”

    I write them. But my subheds are generally meant to give a preview of the analysis I’m offering in the post. In this case, though, it could be read as saying the judgment of the people expressed in the headline was wrong. That wasn’t the subject, let alone the point, of the post.

    What you don’t concede, but should, is that your analysis is simplistic and false.

    My analysis is simply that the public believes exactly what it believed prior to the Barr letter. Democrats think what they thought before. So do Republicans. And there are 44% of people who, despite Trump’s AG quoting Mueller as saying Trump has not been exonerated, think that Trump was exonerated. Exactly the same number as before the letter.

    4
    1
  21. James Pearce says:

    @James Joyner:

    I absolutely agree Trump hasn’t been exonerated and agree that we need the full report.

    As a practical matter, it would probably be best to pretend that Trump was exonerated –even if he wasn’t–because the truth is…he’s a lot more “exonerated” post-Mueller than he was pre-Mueller. Opinions vary, as they always do, but there is no chance that Trump will be impeached or indicted.

    Right now, the only way to punish him is at the ballot box.

    5
    14
  22. Steve V says:

    @James Joyner: He was! He dictated a misleading explanation of the June 9 meeting; he promised a big reveal of Hillary’s wrongdoing shortly after the meeting was scheduled; his people did things like communicate with Wikileaks and give polling data to Russians, and so on. And that doesn’t even touch obstruction, Stormy Daniels, and god knows what else.

    2
    2
  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    there is no chance that Trump will be impeached or indicted.

    Dude: SDNY. Everyone who has paid any attention to this matter has known for a long time that the greater threat to Trump was the SDNY. Trump is the head of a criminal organization – charity fraud, financial fraud, banking fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and tax fraud. None of that is at all affected by Mueller.

    10
    3
  24. Mikey says:

    The NYT is reporting, with confirmation by a named Justice Department spokesperson, that the Mueller report is somewhere north of 300 pages. From that we have seen only a four-page memo which contained a couple dozen words from the actual report, and those very carefully selected to create an impression favorable to the President. The most glaring example of this is “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” See the brackets around the T? That means what Barr reproduced in his memo is the conclusion of a longer sentence. What did he chop off, and why? More broadly, why did he not reproduce even one complete sentence from the actual report?

    I believe it’s because the report is actually very damaging to the President and his associates, and Barr et al. want to front-load whatever positives they can spin out of it.

    I’m glad to see at least a bare majority of Americans isn’t buying it.

    9
    1
  25. Gustopher says:

    The summary was written by a Trump employee and loyalist (how else did he get the job?), and contradicts what we know, either through weasel words or because there is a larger story we aren’t getting.

    Hw do you square no collusion with Manafort delivering polling data and briefing Oleg the Oligarch? Or the Trump Tower meeting?

    There may be an explanation, but I would need to see how the the report addresses these before I believe a Trump loyalist’s summary of the report.

    People who have noticed that the Trump administration lies abut everything are not persuaded by the statements of the Trump administration. It’s the boy who cried wolf, or manchild who cried and cried and cried about everything.

    4
    1
  26. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Dude: SDNY.

    The Southern District of New York isn’t going to indict or impeach the president and frankly it’s a little weird that you think that they should. Trump is a political problem that will be solved, or not, in the 2020 election.

    There is no other way.

    6
    8
  27. Barry says:

    James: “What this demonstrates, yet again, is how fundamentally unpersuadable most Americans are on anything having to do with Donald J. Trump. Essentially, any poll regarding him is a popularity survey. The CNN results on collusion almost precisely mirror Trump’s approval ratings.”

    James, this is poor logic. Barr is sitting on the report, handing out a summary which included just about nothing from the actual report.

    1
    1
  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    He can be indicted right now according to some opinion, and he can be indicted the minute he leaves office according to all informed opinion. So you are wrong on the facts.

    And he can be impeached on corruption-related problems. Can he be convicted? I don’t know. But obviously he can be impeached. So, wrong again.

    4
    3
  29. James Joyner says:

    @Barry:

    James, this is poor logic. Barr is sitting on the report, handing out a summary which included just about nothing from the actual report.

    Sigh. Again: We already have Trump’s AG quoting Mueller saying “does not exonerate.” Yet 44 percent think he was exonerated.

    1
    1
  30. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Sorry I’m late to this one…
    WTF???
    There is no evidence.
    There is a press release from someone who has proven themselves to be a sycophant of Dennison’s, and has a record of protecting past Presidents and trying to cover up their wrong-doings.
    THAT IS NOT EVIDENCE!!!
    Frankly, James…I’m shocked you would consider it to be so.

    3
    1
  31. James Joyner says:

    @Steve V: I don’t understand what you’re arguing against there.

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I don’t think you’ve actually read the comments. I’ve addressed that point half a dozen times in the thread.

    5
    2
  32. Steve V says:

    @James Joyner: Sorry, I wasn’t arguing against you but was responding to your statement that “56 percent believed Trump was engaged in fishy, legally dubious activities before Barr’s summary was released.” I’m saying yeah, people thought he was engaged in something fishy because fishy, legally dubious activities have already been released into the public record without even knowing what the Mueller report says.

    2
    1
  33. reid says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’d argue that key Congressional leaders (The Speaker/Minority leader in the House, the Majority and Minority leader in the Senate, and the chair and ranking members of the Justice and Intel committees in both House most obviously) should see what’s being redacted for transparency.

    That’s right, there’s absolutely no reason they couldn’t see the report the same day as Barr. The only reason it’s being withheld from them is partisan reasons. If they never see it, it will be a travesty.

    3
    1
  34. reid says:

    @James Joyner: Of course, Trump and his enablers have loudly proclaimed that it DOES exonerate him, and that lie is what his cult fans will hear and take to heart.

    4
    1
  35. Bob@Youngstown says:

    It is inconceivable that Mueller failed to write an executive summary on his report.

    Likewise I’d think that Mueller’s executive summary did not reveal national security secrets, or protected grand jury evidence.

    I can’t imagine any valid reason to not publish immediately Mueller’s Executive summary while we wait for Barr to scrub the remainder.

    Frankly, it’s curious that the page count on the Mueller report seems to be treated as if it were classified. That doesn’t instill confidence.

    9
    1
  36. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:
    This thing is smelling more and more like week-old mackerel.

    4
    1
  37. Kylopod says:

    @KM:

    Of course the public remains unconvinced – we have eyes and brains.

    While I agree that anyone with eyes and brains should be unconvinced, I strongly disagree that explains the lack of movement in the polls so far. Most Americans aren’t independent thinkers reaching their own conclusions based on following the evidence where it leads. Most Americans (most human beings, in fact) see whatever they want to see. If the Barr summary–and the media’s credulous acceptance of the idea that Trump has been exonerated–hasn’t moved public opinion yet (and I still think we need to wait at least a few more days before concluding that’s what’s happened), it isn’t because the public was too smart to fall for the media narrative, it’s because anyone dumb enough to fall for it wasn’t sitting on their hands waiting to make up their mind in the first place.

  38. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Somewhere back in the mists of time on this website I predicted that the real fallout from the Mueller report would not be political/campaign-related but rather revelations that Trump wasn’t nearly as wealthy as he claims, that money-laundering accounted for most of his company’s activities for at least a decade and that these revelations would be more damaging to him than impeachment because it would hit at what matters most to him: his self-image/brand as a successful billionaire. I assumed we’d find that out in the report. I’ll wait to read the entire thing – and I will set aside a weekend and take vacation time on top to do that – and then decide.

    Seriously, the way Trump/Guiliani/etc. conducted themselves over the past year did not indicate stoic insistence on proclaiming innocence. If Trump has issues with people’s desire to read the full report before accepting his side, then he has no one to blame but himself.

    And after all, if the report is so favorable to him, he should be demanding the immediate release himself. Hmmm?

  39. Teve says:

    WaPo:

    When Donald Trump wanted to make a good impression — on a lender, a business partner, or a journalist — he sometimes sent them official-looking documents called “Statements of Financial Condition.”

    These documents sometimes ran up to 20 pages. They were full of numbers, laying out Trump’s properties, debts and multibillion-dollar net worth.

    But, for someone trying to get a true picture of Trump’s net worth, the documents were deeply flawed. Some simply omitted properties that carried big debts. Some assets were overvalued. And some key numbers were wrong.

    For instance, Trump’s financial statement for 2011 said he had 55 home lots to sell at his golf course in Southern California. Those lots would sell for $3 million or more, the statement said.

    But Trump had only 31 lots zoned and ready for sale at the course, according to city records. He claimed credit for 24 lots — and at least $72 million in future revenue — he didn’t have.

    He also claimed his Virginia vineyard had 2,000 acres, when it really has about 1,200. He said Trump Tower has 68 stories. It has 58.

    2
    1
  40. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    He can be indicted right now according to some opinion, and he can be indicted the minute he leaves office according to all informed opinion. So you are wrong on the facts.

    Okay.

    But as things stand currently, I think his re-election is likelier than any indictments. I also think his re-election gets likelier the more indictments are mentioned.

    7
    7
  41. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    Eh. The truth is everything today is pretty much seen through a partisan lens, regardless of if it’s Trump related or not. And while one party is MUCH more evidence-impervious than the other, this is a case of being able to easily find evidence that pretty much everyone engages in it to one degree or another. Arguing from conclusions, not evidence, seems to be a basic weakness of the human brain.

    I blame it being more pervasive on the media environment talked about in another OTB article today. As a population we’ve self-sorted ourselves into two different realities that all too often don’t even try and agree on facts, and don’t care to. Guys like Hannity just care about scoring points against the other team, not actual facts, and big national bubbles isolate contradictory evidence.

    To sum up the summary of the summary, people are a problem.

  42. Kathy says:

    Dennison seems to think everything that doesn’t land him in jail is like a 4th century baptism. Back then, new converts to Christianity believed baptisms washed away all sins and let one enter heaven freely, so many were baptized only very late in their lives.

    We can’t say whether Constantine I was right. We know El Cheeto is wrong.

    2
    3
  43. Kathy says:

    Nuance tends to be AWOL, or dead maybe, in public debate.

    A person can be morally guilty of a crime without being legally guilty. They can also be legally guilty, as in they committed an actual crime, but it cannot be proven.

    The full report would shed some light on these issues. as yet, we don’t know what the report says, but what Barr, hardly an impartial actor, says he thinks the report concludes.

    We don’t know what’s in the sealed subpoenas, either, or who’s named in them.

    So even if Mueller’s report does exonerate Trump, we don’t know it.

    For instance, suppose Mueller found that Dennison ordered some of his minions to ask a Russian agent for information and to offer something in return. The minions, wisely, ignored this, did not get in touch with any Russian agents, and then told El Cheeto they couldn’t get a hold of them, or that they refused any help.

    Dos that exonerate Trump?

    Is fire cold?

    3
    3
  44. Todd S says:

    I’ll believe evidence when I see it.

    To date all I’ve seen is evidence of treason, and clear obstruction of justice.

    Pretending otherwise while the Russians are landing troops in Venezuela is insane.

    You’re dangerously wrong here, and nobody with half a brain is buying “nothing to see here” in regards to Trump and Russia.

    4
    1
  45. Tyrell says:

    I just don’t know. The people I hear talking around are into the basketball, fishing reports, and the new tax forms.
    If I bring up the Mueller “report”, it’s like I hear “Mueller who?”. No one seems to even be watching the regular news anymore unless it is the local things like high school baseball or the weekly fishing report. Newspapers? Haven’t seen a deliverer go through here in years. Even the pay boxes at the stores are gone.

    Michigan Voters Sound Off On Mueller Report to CNN: “It Was A Hoax All Along” (Real Politic)
    “Only 29% Favor Democratic Probe of Trump If Mueller Finds Nothing” (Rasmussen)
    Trump approval rating at 51% (this is a CNN poll, so add another 10% to be more accurate)

    3
    11
  46. An Interested Party says:

    Right now, the only way to punish him is at the ballot box.

    And the fact that a majority of Americans believe that he has not been exonerated helps with that goal…

    5
    1
  47. Scott O says:

    @Tyrell:

    If I bring up the Mueller “report”, it’s like I hear “Mueller who?”

    Today is a rare day indeed. You actually said something logical. Most people don’t pay much attention to politics. Bonus points for not saying anything about how the whole town used to gather to skate on the pond and roast marshmallows after watching Walter Cronkite.

    Trump approval rating at 51% (this is a CNN poll, so add another 10% to be more accurate)

    Did it hurt when you pulled that out? Also, I don’t want to brag but I had special knobs made so I can exaggerate up to 11! 11 is better than 10.

    Wish we still had preview.

    8
    1
  48. mike shupp says:

    Used to be this guy, a fellow around Chicago back in the 1920’s and 1930’s, named Al Capone. Maybe some folks here have heard of him? Story is, Capone was a gangster making big money illegally by importing bootleg liquor during Prohibition. But the government never could prove it. Instead they put the squeeze on some bookkeepers who had worked for Capone and found out Capone hadn’t paid all the income tax he owed on his illegal earnings. So the Feds really wanted to screw Capone over bootlegging and had to settle for sending him to jail on a tax evasion charge.

    Everybody understands that, right? Capone was NEVER formally convicted for illegally bringing booze into the USA, only for tax evasion. Everybody agrees, that’s the American way, that’s the way the law is supposed to work here.

    And yet for some strange reason almost 90 years after the fact, the vast majority of Americans who remember the unfortunate, misunderstood Mr. Capone would describe him as “a bootlegger.” Without cause, without evidence. THIS IS JUST SO SAD AND AWFUL AND PATHETIC!

    I’ve no idea why this odd little bit of history occurred to me.

  49. Paul L. says:

    Mueller found evidence of collusion but it were gathered in a illegal way using FISA and intelligence agencies to spy on American citizens.
    So like with Mark Felt and Bill Ayers that evidence will be throw out of court.

  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @An Interested Party: Hope you’re right. That 47% of voters went for an incompetent grifter last time makes me wonder, though.

    1
    1
  51. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Before we count our chickens, keep in mind that SDNY reports to Barr.